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kale noodles on a blue plate with lemons and parmesan in the background

One-Pot Lemony Kale Noodles

One-Pot Lemony Kale Noodles is a super simple vegetarian weeknight pasta dinner. Kind of like a riff on spaghetti aglio e olio with lots of kale and lemon added in. Made with lentil pasta to bump up the protein content, this is an easy vegetarian or vegan recipe.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Instant Pot Pasta Sauce, Kale, One-Pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 631kcal


  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 8 oz lentil spaghetti or more regular spaghetti
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale de-stemmed and sliced into ribbons
  • 1 large lemon zested
  • 2 large lemons juiced
  • 1 clove garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • Parmesan for serving


  • Pull the kale leaves off of their stems. Stack them on top of one another, and use a sharp knife to slice into thin ribbons.
  • Zest one lemon, and juice two lemons. Thinly slice the garlic clove.
  • Put a large pot of water over high heat, covered, until it comes to the boil.
  • Salt well, and add the pasta.
  • Cook the pasta about 8-10 minutes, until it is al dente - it should have just a little bite to it.
  • In the last minute of cooking time for the pasta, add the kale to the pot and stir to submerge it.
  • Remove one-cup of water from the pasta pot and set aside.
  • Remove the pasta and kale from the heat, and drain well.
  • Return the same pot to medium heat.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon zest, thinly sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  • Let the garlic oil cook for 3-5 minutes, until the garlic is just beginning to turn golden.
  • Add the pasta and kale, and stir to combine well.
  • Let the pasta stand for 5 minutes for the flavours to combine.
  • Give everything a good stir, and add a touch of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up a bit.
  • Serve hot, with shavings of Parmesan.


  • Nutrition values are an estimate only.
  • Prepare the kale, lemon zest, and garlic ahead of time, or while the pasta is cooking.
  • You can use a combination of regular and legume pasta, or just one type of pasta is also fine.


Calories: 631kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 964mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6892IU | Vitamin C: 124mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 5mg